Saturday, January 9, 2010

Beautiful and honorable...


I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude when I'm in the presence of work that reminds me to honor what is both significant and intangible:  gift, vision, rigor.....ethics, grace, effort.  The top image is the brilliant work of Manon Gignoux, and below is "Epigram" by Paul Villinski (via Morgan Lehman Gallery).  I began with such beauty to put a bit of a cushion between you, dear reader, and what is about to be a bit of a rant.  And though blogs are supposed to be bastions of positivity and "keeping up appearances",  I have to get this one off my chest.  It's January, and in spite of our collective holiday hangovers, we are admonished to take part in the yearly ritual of the "SALE!"  The phenomenon where the consumer and the retailer do the stand-off dance for the sake of acquisition and clearing out, respectively.  And it's great when someone is able to purchase something they love that would otherwise be out of their financial reach.  What I dislke about the whole thing (here comes the rant part), is that it perpetuates the idea that price should be our sole consideration.  The American consumer is so obsessed with the idea of the "bargain", that the real cost of that bargain is mostly forgotten.  (see this, this, and this...)  Yes, as any friend of mine would confirm, one of the quickest ways to get me going is to utter the dreaded phrase "made in China" or something truly oxymoronic like "Rodarte for Target".  What is sold as "accessibility" is actually faux populism for the sake of corporate profits.  Consumer choices based on principles need to be applauded, not reviled as "elitist". 

There. I feel so much better now.  Thank you for your patience...

What, then, to celebrate?  I'd certainly start with all the lovely people whose creations I love, both the names to the right and the many, many other designer/makers who engage in thoughtful, timeless work. 

The unique.  The skillful.  Beauty that takes your breath away.  (this installation by Emily Ann Nachison has been astounding me for days...)  The poetry of a Japanese blog.

And tomorrow, maybe we should all be a little bit crazy and cause a scene.


  1. The Japanese blog reminded me of Krista Larson. Do you know her work? She lives in Southern New Hampshire. You can see her work at
    You might also like old town clothing made in the uk.

  2. I was familiar with Old Town clothing, but not Krista Larson, so thank you! Some lovely work there and I love the business sane!

  3. although I just discovered your wonderful shop today, it would seem to me that it should attract a shopper who is not interested in acquiring for acquiring sake. I can't wait for next time I am in Portland to come have a look, and hopefully find some treasure that will stay with me for a long, long time. Regardless of its price.

  4. Oh, kbd, thank you for your lovely comment. Your insights are absolutely correct--I want people to give thought to what they buy and why. This shop is my love song to all the talented designer/makers represented here and the sense of aesthetics that drives their work. It will be my absolute pleasure to meet you.